It seems that, more than commemorating the great moments in our history, more than even anticipating great sporting events, what our audience wants is the weird. When two 12-year-old girls say that a fictional character created on an internet forum inspired them to stab their friend 19 times, or when an emotionally troubled soldier who may or may not be a deserter is released in exchange for five high level Guantanamo detainees after spending so long with the Taliban he has lost familiarity with English, people rush online to make sense of things. It is a reminder of our duty as Wikipedians to make sense, something we have a patchy record of actually doing.
OK. Here is when I declare a conflict of interest: I am the creator and maintainer of this article; not that I'm particularly disposed to create articles like this – it was just kinda foisted on me. The circumstances are outside the scope of this list, but might make an interesting Signpost article some day. Anyway, I'm pretty sure that, however my position may colour by biases, they won't be all that different from yours – i.e., when two girls who are either psychotic or psychopathic use a fictional character from a thousand mildly uninspired fanfics as an excuse to stab an unsuspecting classmate 19 times and leave her for dead in the forest, it's better to look at them rather than at the character. Needless to say, the media did the opposite, and thus turned what had been a rapidly ageing meme into a full on cybernetic demon.
It took 29 months and 820 qualifying matches involving 207 national teams representing more than 99 percent of the world's population, but we're down to the final week before the game literally kicks off on Thursday. The final 32 comes complete with the traditional first timers (Bosnia), the heavy favourites (five-time winners and hosts Brazil), dark horses (Honduras) European stalwarts (Germany, Spain, England, Italy, and France) and African hopefuls (Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon). Now all that remains is to see whether Brazil can get its act together and finish construction in time. And if they can pull that off, they may even be able to explain why they built a 42,000-seat stadium in the middle of the Amazon jungle.
Friday marked the 70th anniversary of this epochal invasion, which many feel marked the point at which the Allies started winning World War II. The largest seaborne invasion in history, it nonetheless caught the Axis off-guard, thanks to a brilliantly effective deception campaign. Memorials were held on the site to commemorate the nearly 10,000 people on both sides who died that day.
Bowe Bergdahl must qualify as the most controversial non-fictional individual in the US right now. Is he a hero? A victim? A traitor? However you may label him, you can't deny that there isn't a point in his story, from his decision to AWOL in the first place, to his detention by the Taliban, to President Obama's decision to trade him for five high-level Guantanamo Bay prisoners, that isn't cause for uncertainty.
Disney's rather startling subversion of one of their most popular tales has left an aftertaste in critics' mouths (its Rotten Tomatoes rating is currently just 50%) but audiences have been positively scarfing it; it earned nearly $130 million in its first ten days.